top of page

Knee prosthesis on both sides in the same operation: no, it's not madness!

​Often, osteoarthritis of the knee is only present in advanced form on one side: this is the standard case where a knee prosthesis is made on one side only. Rehabilitation is done with full weight bearing on both knees, even if at the beginning it is mainly the healthy knee that bears the weight of the body.


Almost as often, however, osteoarthritis is present in an advanced stage symmetrically on both knees, and the patient cannot tell whether it is the left or the right that hurts more.​

The orthopedic surgeon may then be led to suggest to his patient that both knees be done in the same operating session.


No, it's not madness!


It is even a very advantageous solution in many respects:

- The patient only has surgery once

- There is only one anesthesia

- There is only one rehabilitation period

- Everything is “completed” in 4 to 6 months


On the contrary, if only one side is done, the patient finds himself after six months with a knee that is doing well and a knee that is still going badly, so the overall result is not good. Then you have to start all over again!

At any age, there is a risk that the patient will become discouraged and not come back to do the second side; in this case again, the overall result is bad.


Before the operation, most patients wonder how it is possible to walk with both freshly operated knees: the answer is: the simplest way in the world, by putting one foot in front of the other! Indeed, with most modern knee prostheses, one can fully load immediately after the operation, and the only limiting factor is the ability of the muscles to stabilize the knee when walking: in most cases, the techniques of Modern anesthesia leaves muscle strength intact while relieving postoperative pain.

Here is a video of a freshly operated patient: he is walking down the hallway of the clinic 24 hours post-surgery!

Another patient, 87 years old, 4 weeks after surgery on both sides.

There are of course contraindications to operating on both knees at the same time:

- too old 

- Excessive fragility of the patient

- Heavy heart history

- Neuromuscular problems


Compared to the prosthesis on one side only, it is the first 10 days which are a little more difficult in the rehabilitation, but the experiment shows that practically all the patients at which one made the two knees at the same time are satisfied and do not regret this procedure.

bottom of page